Getting the smile

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by msf, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. msf

    msf TPF Noob!

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    I realize you dont need a smile for a portrait to be good, but for a typical family portrait, a smile is a good thing to have.

    Ive noticed there are 4 types of people
    1. those that smile great every time and with out prompt
    2. those that smile good with a bit of help
    3. those that dont know how to smile and look goofy when they try, even with a bit of help, they still look goofy.
    4. those that refuse to smile.

    Its great when you get the first 2 types of people, and the 4th group you cant do much with.

    You do your best to get a good smile, take a few more pictures than you normally do so they can choose the best "smile", and then when they see the picture, they say "oh thats not good" and with out saying it blame you for not capturing a great picture.

    How do you all handle the 3rd group?
     
  2. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Oh isn't there? [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cbk980jV7Ao]YouTube - Validation[/ame] this one is 16minutes but worth it.

    The 3rd group is impossible. I have a blind friend who falls into the category. He doesn't know how to look even with help.
     
  3. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    1. not an issue

    2. only an issue if you do not know how to help

    3. not much you can do about it, get the shot, it is their personality and then play around a little and see if you can help them smile just enough to get a shot. I once had a model like this. I stood her up in front of a mirror for 10 minutes and we moved from a frown to a gut buster. I finally taught her that the smile doesn't start from the mouth... but the eyes. ;) If you know where and how to do this, sometimes it can help. In the case of Garbz blind friend, this would be near impossible. Take the shot and accept that this is the way shots of this person come out.

    4. take the shot, then learn how to make them relax and have them tell you a story that will make them smile, just don't phrase it as such. People that refuse to smile are simply uncomfortable. It is your job as the photographer to make an ass of yourself, if need be, to get them to relax.
     
  4. LuckySo-n-So

    LuckySo-n-So TPF Noob!

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    I fall into category #4. If someone tries to make me smile surreptitiously, it stiffens my resolve. I am #4 because on the rare occasion that my smile is captured for all-time on some sort of photographic medium, I become a Category #3.

    Any photog trying to make me smile better bring his or her "A" game.
     
  5. Emily-O

    Emily-O TPF Noob!

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    I personally find it hard to 'fake' a smile. If it doesn't come naturally it ends up looking wrong... especially when I am thinking about smiling. Perhaps others suffer from this?
     
  6. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    As a photographer, do not make them think about smiling... I never say "SMILE!". Have a conversation, treat the session like a dance a mutual movement from one moment to the next. When people are happy to be there, they will smile for you when the time is right, if they are able to *and* you do your job right.

    At worst, I pull an Austin Powers on them and ask them in a cheesy fake english accent "..do I make you hooooorny, baby?"... LOL
     
  7. msf

    msf TPF Noob!

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    Well the last one had two kids with them, one being a baby. I was focused on the baby to make him smile, so I wasnt able to do much with the parents other than "smiiiiiiiile" as I moved to get out of the way of the picture. :)

    I already do that somewhat, talk to them to get them to smile. I dont really like "say cheese", most of the time wehn I get them to say something I get the mouths in a weird spot, hehe. But it is something I have to work on.
     
  8. Chairman7w

    Chairman7w TPF Noob!

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    ROTFL!!!! Okay, that made me smile!! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
     
  9. SrBiscuit

    SrBiscuit TPF Noob!

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    *click!*
     
  10. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Getting the right smile starts the minute you meet them. You are the photographer and need to act the part so that when the time comes they will be at ease enough to play their part.

    If you are nervous or forced then so will they be. You've got to make them believe that you are the one that will make them look the best they've ever looked and it's already a done deal.
     
  11. Chairman7w

    Chairman7w TPF Noob!

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    That is GREAT advice!

     
  12. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    And I'm Spent!
     

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